Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL), the country’s leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company, concluded the 14th edition of its flagship business competition ‘BizMaestros,’ at a grand finale in Dhaka. After a challenging contest among the top five finalists, the team from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka, consisting of Shubhashish Chakraborty, Mashrif Hasan Adib, Abir Ershad, lifted the coveted champion's trophy of the business competition.
Five finalist teams were evaluated by a panel of esteemed jury consisting of H. E. Sarah Cooke, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, M. A. Jabbar, Managing Director, DBL Group, Sonia Bashir Kabir, Founder, SBK Tech Ventures, Zaved Akhtar, Chairman and Managing Director, Unilever Bangladesh Ltd., and KSM Minhaj, CEO and Managing Director, Unilever Consumer Care Ltd. The First Runner-Up title was awarded to the team from Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), and the team from North South University (NSU) was named the Second Runner-Up.
BizMaestros offers graduating batches of students the scope to explore real business case studies from Unilever brands. Consisting of three challenging and competitive rounds, the first round took place through online submission from students across Bangladesh, where around 200 teams submitted their applications. 30 teams comprising 100 students who qualified for the second round underwent hands-on coaching from senior management at UBL.
The 5 finalist teams were chosen through two rigorous rounds. Participated in the final- one team from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka; one team from the Faculty of Business Studies (FBS), University of Dhaka; two teams from Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP); and one team from North South University (NSU).
The champion team will now contest at the international level - Unilever Future Leaders' League (FLL) 2024, which will take place in London with participants from universities across the world.
The theme of BizMaestros this year was ‘Innovating for People and Planet,’ which challenged participants to create a business case for selected Unilever brands while keeping sustainability at heart. As a platform for skilling youth for employability and entrepreneurship, BizMaestros provides the participants hands-on training, mentorship and exposure into the ways of work of leading FMCG brands throughout various rounds of the competition. Additionally, the members of the Top 5 teams will get fast-tracked into internship and management trainee programme opportunities with Unilever Bangladesh.
Her Excellency Sarah Cooke, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, said, I was delighted to join the jury for this year’s BizMaestros competition. The UK is committed to supporting initiatives to empower Bangladeshi youth and support economic growth, and to safeguard our planet. It is only by working together in partnership – across governments, civil society and the private sector – that we can tackle climate change. And it is important that we hear the views of young people as it is their future we are fighting for. At BizMaestros we saw great ideas and financial acumen from the business leaders of the future. I wish the winners the very best of luck as they work towards the Global Round in London next year.
Zaved Akhtar, Chairman & Managing Director, Unilever Bangladesh Limited, said, “People are at the heart of our business, and being the leader in sustainable business, we have committed to upskilling the youth to attain better business and a better world. As the landscape of work changes, we are equipping our youth to adapt, grow, and ultimately thrive in pursuing a new career or a different way of working. BizMaestros has been our flagship youth development platform, empowering generations of business leaders who innovate and drive impact in Bangladesh across societies for nearly one and a half decades. Our entire organisation waits for each year’s BizMaestros as it allows us to get introduced to a large number of passion-driven youth of Bangladesh who come from across the country. Through the BizMaestros journey, bright minds sharpen their understanding of business and how it creates a larger impact on people and the planet. This year, BizMaestros finalists did an awe-inspiring job and presented their business cases with rigour and a vision of Bangladesh. I am confident that the winning team will again take over our global stage in London in 2024 and make Bangladesh proud.”
Sonia Bashir Kabir, Founder, SBK Tech Ventures, “It was an honor to listen to the pitches of BizMaestros finalists. They had great solutions, a team of passionate individuals, and the drive to make their ideas a reality. They knew what problem they were solving. Companies that begin with a great idea succeed only when they execute according to plan. Vision without execution is, after all, a hallucination.”
M. A. Jabbar, Managing Director, DBL Group, said, BizMaestros is a well-known global program running successfully for almost a decade and a half by Unilever Bangladesh. This is a unique platform to solve business problems by engaging undergrad students, creating opportunities to reveal their hidden talents before they enter the real professional world.